To reflect upon culture is also, collectively, to reflect upon nature. To reflect upon water is also, inextricably, to reflect upon the social relation and history of people with it. Any water system like the sea, river or a lake carries with it an ‘ideological, physical and institutional’ potential and in all these three dimensions we get a sense of a water history. The materiality of human existence comes into life when we try to make sense of the natural world around us and how in that interaction we transform each other. Much of social theory are imagined through the land, however, Donald Worster reminds us that human history is not so ‘dry’ after all. Water thinking offers a lot of material, ritual, sensorial, and symbolic potential. The flow of water touches many things. However, our waters have become ‘modern’ owing to various modes of human modification overs the years. A close attention to this one element of nature, ecology and/or the environment, studied comparatively, offers significant insights into our past.
This section will bring out the various lives of water in Northeast India. We shall look closely into various water systems and its extensions such as meadows, forests, marshes, char-chaporis and backwaters of floodplains, among others. We welcome people from multiple backgrounds to write, discuss and share about the various lives of water in the Northeast.
The Pangsau Collective